Last June, YouTube picked conservative commentator Steven Crowder after theVox Writer Carlos Maza came to the site for failing to enforce its anti-harassment policy against him. Now YouTube has silently re-enabled Crowder’s monetization, allowing him to return to revenue from a channel that spreads dangerous misinformation such as “Obama funded China’s COVID Leaking Lab.”
“The demonetization was already insufficient, but this decision shows that YouTube has no real interest in their[[[[sic]Anti-hate policy, “Maza tweeted on Wednesday. Maza left Vox being a full-time YouTuber in January and was a vocal critic of YouTube̵
“YouTube has tremendous incentive to make hate speech on the platform,” he continued. “Hatred does well and keeps the company going. It has never had an interest in enforcing its rules and only uses them to distract journalists.”
Crowder’s videos repeatedly targeted Maza for years, making derogatory comments about the writer’s sexuality and ethnicity. Incredibly, YouTube claimed that these videos did not violate its guidelines, even though they eventually demonized Crowder’s channel. But not even this slap on the wrist gets stuck.
In a statement to Mashable, a YouTube spokesperson admitted that Crowder was reintroduced into the YouTube affiliate program “after careful consideration” on Wednesday.
“Steven Crowder has been suspended from the YouTube Affiliate Program (YPP) for harassing a co-creator and harming the YouTube community,” the spokesman said. “This incident exposed gaps in our community guidelines. So last December we updated our guidelines to better address patterns of harassment behavior, and our work here is ongoing.
“Separately, Mr. Crowder has also taken steps to correct the behavior that led to his suspension and has demonstrated a track record of compliant behavior.”
In particular, the videos targeting Maza have been removed and Crowder has stopped selling t-shirts that read “Carlos Maza is af * g” while Pinkie promises YouTube that he will never do it again.
Crowder’s channel is still spreading harmful coronavirus conspiracy theories and falsely claiming that Black Lives Matter is, of course, a terrorist organization. However, YouTube found that it was unable to generate advertising revenue for over a year, which is a significant penalty.
“”[People like Crowder] Make millions from selling merch, doing gigs and getting their followers to endorse them on Patreon, “Maza said in a past year.” Ad revenue isn’t the problem. It’s the platform. “
The YouTube spokesperson told Mashable that not all Crowder videos will show ads and that every single upload must adhere to ad-friendly guidelines to be eligible for monetization. One such exception is his video, in which false allegations are made against Black Lives Matter.
Even so, this is a bit like letting a few wild bobcats live with you as long as they promise to use the litter box. It doesn’t matter if you clean it regularly – your home still smells.